"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday 2 April 2012


People participating in Culture Centre  discussion  are still thinking in terms of a new agreement. I don't understand why.

Since 1976/2002, Church Street School was a functioning facility of the town's Leisure Services  Department.

At different times, various community groups made use of the space.

At no time did disputes over scheduling ever  rise to the surface.

The town's museum was the constant tenant after York County Board of Education moved to their new facility in 1976.

After the Historical Society launched a fund-raising drive and were recipients of a generous private  bequest  to fund a new museum, the society  sought a legal agreement  with the town to protect their investment in the building and give them authority to manage the facility.

Apparently there was resentment at being subject to any authority  on  use of the building.

They got what they sought

There was a change in the  executive .The Society withdrew from the  commitment to operate the museum because they only had   fifty-nine members.

The new executive signed off on protection for  the investment At whose request is not clear. In return for what alternative  from the town is equally mystifying.

That they did it, is the only amazing  fact.

It should be a lesson for the municipality about the permanence  of legal agreements with voluntary organisations.  

Nothing  in  the town's experience,  indicates a need or justification for arm's length governance of the facility either.

The Aurora  Arts and Culture Fund established by David Merkur of the Aurora Shopping Centre  almost fifty years ago, attracted no new benefactor until Joseph Lebovic started  to contribute in the last decade.

The town owns the Church Street School. Millions have been invested in the building. No rent is paid. The town  maintains and services the facility with utilities and transfers a ton of money, with  annual increases  from the town treasury.

Nothing commends management by a faceless, unaccountable body
committed to secrecy of meetings and an absence of records, accompanied by complete ignorance, matched only by arrogance   and total  lack of respect for the principle of accountability.

Abslutely none of these  fact mitigates in favour of an agreement of any kind with an  external body..

None of our experience suggests the facility cannot be equally well managed  by town resources..

At very least, the arrangement  would see revenue returns from user fees and accountability to the body which is accountable to the public. for competent management of  a valuable town asset.

Credentials of a  chartered or a general accountant or a lawyer either, are completely  unnecessary to recognize the current agreement is unsustainable and no alternate agreement  is necessary to better serve the community.

Or to argue  anything  done until this date,  is an  indication of financial or professional competence.

Notwithstanding the Mayor's claim, in the public debate last Tuesday that his way is "the professional way"


Anonymous said...

By not taking on the ACC, this Council is now wasting taxpayers' money on a scale equal to what the Morris' Council blew on lawyers. Here we go again ! And this from the individuals elected on platforms to reduce wasteful spending. Most memorable was Councillor Sandra on Alison's show saying she would watch the big ticket items. Early memory loss?

Anonymous said...


It's good to see a factual, sensible comment. Unfortunately, the one that follows it ... ISN'T.

KA-NON said...

@4:51 PM, aka Cllr. Ballard

Accountable to the town? Are you kidding? The town was not permitted members on the board even though it funded the place to the tune of $509K per year, PLUS forgone rent.

The board is NOT NECESSARY. All this fear mongering about how the place will fall apart if the contract is cancelled and the facility is run by the town is complete and utter bullshit. I am sure that the people giving beginner guitar lessons and workshops on acrylic will be just as happy to book directly with town staff.

Anonymous said...

If all these anti ACC board posters feel so strongly about what is happening, why don't they show up to the next public council meeting and create their own Dog and Pony show to sway councils decision on what Aurora residents want. Have you started to contact all councillors and our Mayor to voice your displeasure?
It's time for us to take a stand if we want to make ourselves heard. We can't leave it just to Ms. Buck to speak for us.